Shifting Tides | Honest Thoughts about Selling on Creative Market in 2023

I know I’m going to sound old, but… it isn’t like it used to be.

I started up my shop on Creative Market back in October 2019, and though it’s not that long ago, I’ve noticed a dramatic change in the number of product views, likes and – most importantly – sales I get.

In case you haven’t heard of it before (and I’m sure most people have by now), Creative Market is a digital marketplace that offers a huge range of design assets and resources for creative professionals and hobbyists alike. It was founded back in 2012 and has grown into a massive and popular platform for artists and creators. Users can buy and sell various types of digital design assets, including graphics, illustrations, templates, fonts, themes, photos and more. CM caters to a diverse range of design needs, spanning from web and graphic design to branding and marketing materials.

One of the things that made me want to sell on Creative Market at first was its emphasis on independent creators and small businesses. It provides a decent platform for designers to showcase and sell their work directly to customers all over the world. By selling your design assets, you gain exposure and make an income at the same time. It’s great!

At least… it was great.

My experience is obviously going to be different from everyone else’s, and I’m sure that the big name sellers are still selling huge quantities of products. But those big name sellers also get the most exposure by Creative Market, frequently showcased on the first page of search results, featured in blogs posts and shared on CM’s social media.

That’s fine; we all know that’s kind of how it goes. But still, my first couple of years on Creative Market I sold a lot, every couple of days and sometimes multiple times a day, and I didn’t have very many products at all – below five for the first year. I have nearly 30 products up there now and I sell something maybe once a month. Maybe. What the heck happened?

This is kind of how it feels right now. Just … splerghhhhh.

There are a few reasons why I think CM has changed for many of the smaller businesses:

The rise of other similar marketplaces

It’s not like there were no other digital creative asset marketplaces back in 2012, but I don’t think there were many as big and thriving as Creative Market. Over the years more and more companies have started up similar business models, and now there is a lot more competition. Buyers spread their spending across multiple sites, meaning fewer earnings for those who are Creative Market exclusive.

The rise in commision

This had everyone shaken up a couple of years back. Creative Market raised their commission rate that they take from each sale. At the time a lot of big sellers left the platform and went elsewhere. Unfortunately for the smaller businesses, where the big names go buyers tend to follow.

CM has changed hands in the last few of years

In 2020, Creative Market was acquired by Dribbble, and while Dribbble assured us that nothing would change for long-standing CM users, inevitably there were changes. A few of those changes were considerable, too, in my opinion:

The CM website also changed

The original Creative Market forums – which were an excellent resource for both buyers and sellers – was eventually retired, making it harder for sellers to promote their work on-site by themselves and also harder for buyers to ask for help and advice from their peers and other community members. In fact, Creative Market doesn’t feel much like a community anymore, not like it used to.

Nowadays sellers have to rely on being promoted by the CM staff or invited to take part in a blog post. This doesn’t happen terribly often to lesser-known sellers and if you look through the blog posts that promote different shops and products, it’s mainly the already well-known names. In my four years as a seller, I’ve been featured once in a blog post. I’m sure many sellers don’t get asked at all (understandably, there are a gazillion shops on Creative Market and probably not enough blog posts to fit them all. I was probably in the right place at the right time when I was asked).

If you can think of any more reasons please drop me a comment here and let me know. As a once primary source of side-income, I’m fascinated by how much things have changed.

Before I continue, I just want to make it clear that I do not hate Creative Market and I will not be closing my shop there. I’m also not saying that you shouldn’t open a shop on Creative Market. If you have resources to sell, you totally should apply! I still love the marketplace, and I still visit it nearly every day. It was were I started, after all. This is just something I’ve observed in my own shop over the last couple of years.


Honestly, I don’t know what the solution is as a small seller. Just keep swimming?

No but seriously, my best advice if you’re a small business whose struggling to shift items in your CM shop, it’s definitely time to diversify your outlets. Luckily there are a number of good quality creative marketplaces to choose from, so if you’re looking for alternatives…


Creative Fabrica: Creative Fabrica has been based in the heart of Amsterdam since June 2016. Having a design background, the founders realized how difficult it was to find the perfect assets for a design. Creative Fabrica was created to improve and change the way people consume digital assets.

Design / Font Bundles: Launched in 2015 and formed from a combined experience of 40+ years in design, programming and online innovation, the team identified a huge gap in the market for premium design products at affordable consumer friendly prices.

Etsy: Etsy is a global marketplace for unique and creative goods. It’s home to a universe of special, extraordinary items, from unique handcrafted pieces to vintage treasures. There is also a thriving digital creative resource community on Etsy.

Envato Market: Envato Market offers a wide range of digital assets, including graphics, themes, templates, audio and video. It consists of different platforms like ThemeForest, GraphicRiver, and AudioJungle, catering to various design and creative needs.

Design Cuts: Design Cuts specialises in high-quality design resources, including fonts, graphics, templates and brushes. They curate and offer bundles of design assets at discounted prices. The last I heard you had to have an invite to join Design Cuts, so it might be harder to get in there for many people who don’t have connections who are already members.

The Hungry JPEG: The Hungry JPEG is a marketplace for fonts, graphics, craft resources and templates. They frequently provide deals and bundles for various design needs.

Pixelo: Pixelo focuses on providing design bundles and resources specifically for graphic designers. They offer bundles of fonts, brushes, graphics and more at discounted prices.

Shutterstock: While primarily known for stock photos, Shutterstock also offers a wide variety of design assets, including illustrations, vectors, icons and templates.

It’s worth exploring these options and comparing them based on your specific design needs, pricing, licensing terms, and community engagement to find the marketplace that suits you best.

Feel free to drop me a comment below if you have any additional thoughts about this post.

And as always, if you want to stay up to date with my projects, products, articles and the occasional freebie, don’t forget to join my newsletter group:

Hi, I'm Jen, an illustrator, pattern designer and font maker based in the UK. I love creating beautiful design resources that people might find useful. Two of the biggest things I strive for in my work is offering great value and excellent customer service. Feel free to get in touch!

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